A honeycomb logo signaled our arrival at a recent Shinjuku offshoot Rokurinsha, a popular ramen shop that first debuted at Tokyo Station. I opted for Special Dip Noodles (860 yen), their signature bowl. Thick, chewy noodles come garnished with nori and join a sizable sidecar of murky broth crafted with pork, katsuoboshi, and dried sea creatures that combine to deliver crave-worthy umami. Each bowl comes bobbing with a firm fish cake with pink spiral pattern. On the side, you’ll find a plate of juicy chopped pork, and if you’re smart, a soft, seasoned egg. I bombed my bowl with all the pork and cracked the egg, which allowed for runoff of vivid orange yolk. Dip noodles judiciously, so they don’t get soggy in hot broth. My friend added shrimp oil, which brings yet another dimension to the tsukemen experience.
I hear that the original Rokurinsha routinely draws long lines. During my initial foray to the Shinjuku spinoff, they had stanchions up, like they expected big waits, but the crowds hadn’t come yet. Once word gets out, ramen hounds are inevitable.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.